Analyzing Newcastle United’s top four chances in the 2022/23 season

Newcastle United have set up an interesting 2022/23 Premier League season for fans of the most popular league in the world after their incredible showing in the latter half of the 2021/22 season.

It is not far-fetched to predict that the club could challenge for the top four next season, judging from their impressive run in the second half of the season.

It all started when they were acquired by the consortium of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), PCP Capital Partners, led by Amanda Stavely, and RB Sports & Media led by David and Simon Reuben for £300 million. This was after the same consortium pulled out of the deal in July 2020.

Their next line of action was to axe Steve Bruce from the dugout and appoint a new manager with fresh ideas to push the club forward. Eddie Howe was brought in for the job and struggled to keep the club above the relegation zone until the January window came around.

Then came the transfer business which was initially seen as underwhelming given the money available to the club from its acquisition.

An underwhelming transfer window?

Their highest profile signing was former Tottenham Hotspur man Kieran Trippier who chose to end his LaLiga career to return to his home country. Trippier would come in with the experience of playing against the best players and against the best managers to help the team find their feet again, all for £13.5 million.

Then Chris Wood from Burnley for £25 million, Bruno Guimaraes from Olympique Lyonnais for £33 million (with add-ons taking the total to £40 million), Matt Target on loan from Aston Villa and Dan Burn from Brighton and Hove Albion for £13 million all followed.

A £91 million investment was already a statement to the rest of the Premier League at the time but the players which were brought in did not particularly inspire hope in fans of the club or strike fear in the hearts of opposing fans.

However, they turned out to be brilliant for the club and for manager Howe, who used them to turn things around at the club.

At the start of the January transfer window, Newcastle had only won one game from their last 11 and were in 19th place on the league table. Following the five new signings, the Magpies went on to win most of their matches and only the top two clubs Manchester City and Liverpool amassed more points than they did in 2022.

They eventually finished in 11th place playing some good football that in normal circumstances, would have them challenging for the top four. The performance of Howe’s boys have gotten everyone talking and it is expected that they will consolidate the achievement in the coming season, starting from the transfer window.

A daring style

Newcastle captain Jamal Lascelles spoke to the media just before the end of the season about how “everything has changed” at Newcastle thanks to Howe’s appointment as the manager.

The former AFC Bournemouth manager was almost decided against because some advisers of the club had pegged him as a manager who only fought relegation battles. The new owners went with their gut and brought him in still, and he changed the culture at the club, which translated to a change in style.

He introduced 12-hour working days with intense training sessions, and spent a lot more time discussing and refining tactics with his players and staff at these sessions. He also paid special attention to certain players like Joelinton who went from a bumbling striker to a versatile all round attacker in just six months.

He also added a personal element to the team, making them participate in team bonding sessions and share details from their personal lives to give an insight into what drives them. He even got the team to take a team photo with their partners, children and close friends to pass a firm message of unity.

But more importantly, the team is now getting proper coaching and not just having tactics flung at them.

“It is completely down to the manager,” Lascelles said. “The drills he puts on in training, it’s all competitive about winning. Nothing’s about being on the back foot and being negative. It’s about attacking, being on the front foot. When you’re doing that every day, repetitively, and the game plan is to get after these teams it becomes your DNA.

“You could see it against Arsenal, we were in their faces, they were making mistakes. The back four is up at the halfway line, we’re in their half whereas before the back four is on the 18-yard box and we’re camped in. To get from there to there is down to the manager and the staff.

“I’m really excited about what the club can become.”

A more confident Newcastle

The club is currently brimming with confidence following the impressive performances of the just concluded season. This, coupled with the huge cash flow injection from their new owners, will surely see them make daring moves to sign players who could take them into the top four of the Premier League.

They have already been linked to virtually every player on the planet to show their massive ambitions for the coming seasons. Names like Ousmane Dembele, Jesse Lingard, Victor Osimhen and so on have been mentioned alongside theirs on the transfer news mill.

The club has not been reported yet to be close to completing any deal but the daring nature of their forays into the market thanks to the boost of confidence that their performances gave, is sure to help them land a player with a higher profile than Trippier in the upcoming summer window.

Howe has already identified the key areas he needs to fix/strengthen in the team and we agree. The Magpies are one solid goalkeeper, center back, left-back and an attacker from that tip four finish.

A few names have already been mentioned to this effect who, after the club’s performance, will be more open to a move to St James’ Park.


Newcastle United have regained the big team mentality which went missing at the club under Mike Ashley’s tenure. They also have the money to compete – they are officially the richest club in the world.

But with all these, it still remains a long shot back to the top of English football. However, if they can continue on this path next season and for the near future, a top four finish will not be far from them anymore.

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